Malandog Ridge is located in Malaybalay City and is part of the vast area occupied by the Bukidnon Forests Inc. (BFI). On one of its peaks once stood the famed view deck called Tabios Tower. Once a favorite hiking destination, the view deck is where one could savor the fresh mountain air and take an overlooking view of Malaybalay town proper.
Last September 24, I volunteered as race marshal and photographer for the Malandog Ridge 10K Trail Run organized by Engr. Bong Abao of Origen Outdoors. It gave me the opportunity to once again take a hike along the Malandog trail since the last time I went there was way, way back my high school years.
Together with my co-marshals we started our hike from the BFI compound and passed by the "forestry" area. The huge, tall trees are still there though the wooden cottages we used to hang out are already gone.
It was still dark when we passed by the forestry
The trail going to Malandog Ridge was slippery and wet as it rained hours before our hike. It was a really a challenge walking on the damp ground of the forested area.
One of the few remaining forested areas of Malandog Ridge
As we continued with our hike, I observed that there are now fewer trees along the trail. I could still remember the last time I passed along this route many years ago, it is forested all the way to the peak. Sad to say, the scenery is not the same anymore.
Along the way, we passed by this quarried portion of the trail:
Making our way to the our assigned area:
The peak where Tabios Tower once stood:
As you can see in the photo above, it is not only Tabios Tower that is already gone, but the also the trees which used to provide shade to hikers on the way up.
Still, the views are awesome at the peak:
The thick forested mountains on the far east side
The view of Malaybalay City:
There are plans to reconstruct the Tabios Tower viewing deck next year. An outdoor group will be spearheading this project. In line with this, I hope concerned agencies will also replant this area with trees and promote Malandog Ridge as an eco-tourism destination in Malaybalay.